“Find out who you are, and do it on purpose.” ~ Dolly Parton
In rapid-fire fashion, she had us do several drawings—BLIND. We drew the Statue of Liberty, a human skeleton, a mermaid, and others. No time to think. No time to judge yourself while drawing, nor afterward, ‘cuz, hey, we weren’t looking!
She shouted over our shrieks and laughter as we looked down at our work.
“What do you notice? Can you see that even while doing a blind drawing that a certain style is coming through?”
We looked at each of our drawings and drew in gasps.
“Now, go walk around and look at everyone else’s work.”
We walked and paused at each chair, taking in the drawings. Chair by chair, drawing by drawing, it became more and more clear. Our unique fingerprints were all over our drawings, our voices were coming through amongst the scribbles.
What We Make is Uniquely Ours to Create
Our drawings had connecting elements among them. We couldn’t quite say yet what exactly they were, but we could see and feel ghostly, genetic patterns in the lines our bodies had put on paper.
Next, Lynda instructed us to do a series of 4 drawings of ourselves in different scenes (blasting off into space, as an animal, as a fruit or vegetable, and as a monster). She gave us 3 minutes to accomplish each. We could look this time, but the time crunch and our inability to translate what was in our mind’s eye onto the page, again drew peals of laughter throughout the room.
“Time’s up! Now, look at each of your drawings as a set. What do you see?”
Right there, literally under my nose, was the music of images drawn from my hand. Notes that all sort of hung together and formed a certain family of tone, style, and energy.
Lynda asked us to walk around and look at everyone’s work once more. Again, we were mesmerized by the singular voices emanating from the index cards. At each chair were the unique fingerprints of the person who had sketched with abandon moments before. Perfume of who they are, still lingering in the air.
We could see each person’s style begin to lift off the cards, escaping their mini, paper bindings.
Where does that come from? The power of the line that comes from our hands that is utterly unique and becomes immediately recognizable and attributable to us?
As Lynda pointed out, it is not unlike our ability to recognize a former lover 50 feet away, 30 years later. Beyond body shape, stance, features, form, and figure, there is something else we transmit and receive to one another.
It is entirely ours and is compelling and beautiful.
Compare and Despair Unplugs Creativity and Drains Its Energy
In my work with entrepreneurs, I see many of my clients falling prey to compare and despair. They’re constantly looking over their shoulders (across the room and across the globe) comparing their offerings, marketing messages, pictures on social media, levels of perceived success, etc., and despairing. Certain that what everyone else is offering is better/more interesting/more lucrative/valuable/attractive/successful. Convinced their compare and despair is truth.
Entrepreneurs and creators (all of us) feel chronically behind. That we are not far enough along. That the train of success and the sidecar of “I’m okay” has already left the station, and we are too late.
Take a breath. This is simply not true. Compare and despair is a lie.
Our unique styles are baked into us. Our unique progression along the imaginary continuum is right on time. How could it be otherwise?
How about we choose more expression of our unique lines and style. More of us being us. More comfort in our own skins. More showing up. More getting to the page.
How about we believe (IMDO)JUFI….(I’m Doing) Just Fine?
Here’s a quick and fun exercise. In the center of a blank page, write IMDOJUFI. Set a timer for 15 minutes. In rapid-fire manner, capture all the things you have been up to/working on for the last month. What is interesting to you? What did you learn? What surprised you? What did you cross off your list? What took your breath away? What made you laugh with your head tilted back? What broke your heart? Who did you meet?
When the 15 minutes are up, take a look at what’s on your page. Take in your progress and accomplishments, your experiences and revelations. Acknowledge the life force and the energy that are yours and yours alone.
Your line…your energy…is beautiful…it is YOU. And however far along you are, and whatever you are doing, you are right on time.